13 Pregnancy Tips All First Time Moms Should Follow (2024)
First time pregnancy what to expect
Pregnancy tips for first time moms…there is A LOT of information out there!
Knowing what to do and where to start can feel pretty overwhelming.
I remember feeling so incredibly excited when I learned I was pregnant.
And then nerves began to settle in because I wasn’t sure what all of the do’s and don’ts were with being pregnant.
What is okay to eat? How much should I be eating? What should I be doing for exercise? What should I not be doing for exercise? What medications are safe for me to take? What aren’t? Should I sleep a certain way now that I am pregnant?
The questions in my head went on, and on, and on.
Now that I have been there, there are some pregnancy tips for first time moms that I would love to share with you!
First, congratulations on your pregnancy! I am so excited for you!
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Top Pregnancy Tips for First Time Moms
1. Download a pregnancy app
There are many different apps out there, but I LOVE the What to Expect app the most.
I used it during my pregnancies and STILL love to refer to it with my toddlers.
Based on your baby’s due date, you will receive information regarding your baby’s development that is all personalized to you!
You get to learn all about the growth of your baby and how you can prepare with expert articles, videos, resources, tips, and tools.
You get to learn fun things week by week, month by month, like your baby is now the size of a raspberry…Or, your baby is now developing his/her sense of sound…
Once baby arrives, the app CONTINUES to provide information on growth and development, milestones to look for, and postpartum/healing advice and resources.
It’s amazing because of how thorough it is. The depth of information is nuts.
The app is such a fun, informative way to learn and prepare for your pregnancy and parenting journey!
Of all the pregnancy tips for first time moms, this is an essential one!
2. Floss daily and visit the dentist
My OB/GYN told me this, and I am SO glad she did.
Taking care of your health is taking care of your baby’s health, too. And flossing has a big impact!
From the throw up that often comes with morning sickness to the extra eating from being pregnant, your teeth and gums have a lot going on during these nine months.
I flossed every single day, and I still ended up with a cavity postpartum! I later learned so many of my mom friends did, too. It unfortunately is common.
Aside from the cavities, there are other health concerns and benefits with flossing while pregnant that you can read about here.
Flossing is for sure one of those pregnancy tips for first time moms that is a must!
3. Exercise often
This might be easier said than done, especially during the days of morning sickness or during the end of pregnancy when your body can feel pretty uncomfortable.
But, the benefits of exercise are so great!
Exercising while pregnant can:
- reduce the risk of pregnancy complications
- boost your mood
- ease pelvic and back pain
- reduce the risk of delivery complications
- quicken post-delivery recovery
- relieve constipation, a common side effect of pregnancy
- fight fatigue
- promote better sleep
- and more!
If you are not big into exercising, know that walking and stretching count as exercise, too.
The more you can move, the better. For me, I loved walking and tried to go four times a week for at least twenty minutes.
Ask your doctor what types of movement are best for you and your baby.
4. Start prenatal care early with an awesome doctor
See a healthcare provider as soon as you learn you are pregnant.
It is important to monitor the health of you and your baby so that you can receive proper guidance on nutrition, exercise, medicine, and more.
Find a doctor you can trust–one you feel who truly listens to you, one you feel comfortable asking questions to, as you will be spending lots of time with this person over the next nine months.
5. Eat well and stay hydrated
I was surprised to learn that pregnant women shouldn’t eat that much more compared to when they are not pregnant.
Consult with your doctor first, but in general, we should eat only 300 extra calories when pregnant. That is not a lot!
It is the QUALITY of the nutrients that matters.
Choosing nutrient-dense food that aid in the development of your baby and contribute to your overall health is important.
The What to Expect app is so great for this!
I had lots of fun paying attention to my food cravings and then finding out in the app that my body was craving a specific food for very important reasons.
My cravings often aligned with the app’s recommendations for what I should be eating that particular week based on my baby’s growth/development and what she needed.
Speak to your doctor to get the best advice for you and your baby’s nutritional needs.
And make sure you are drinking lots of water, as your body needs extra water while pregnant to help build new tissue, produce extra blood flow, form amniotic fluid, and more!
6. Buy belly cream
There are tons of belly butters out there.
Some are oily.
Some claim they prevent stretch marks. I’m not sure how true that is.
I’ve had doctors tell me stretch marks are often hereditary and that a cream or butter won’t stop them.
I recommend having a cream on hand not for the stretch marks but for the ITCH.
When your stomach starts growing, your skin starts stretching. And it is ITCHY.
Fortunately, many people gave me belly creams during my multiple pregnancies. I honestly liked all of them, no matter the brand, as long as it wasn’t oily.
Some can be so greasy they ruin your clothes, so just be mindful of that.
7. Focus on you
If there ever was a time to be selfish, it is now.
Babies feel your energy. You want to have a relaxing, restful, enjoyable pregnancy as much as possible to promote the health and wellness of you and your baby.
Do what makes you feel good. I am a big believer in this regardless of being pregnant, but I especially think you should follow this mantra when you are pregnant.
Do what is best for you and your baby. Always. No matter what family members or friends are asking of you. The healthy boundaries you set now will transcend when your baby arrives.
This is a pregnancy tip for first time moms that can be hard to follow, but it is so very important to do.
8. Indulge in comfort
You are doing one of the most magically amazing things ever, growing a human.
That is so much work and very deserving of some indulgences:
Get prenatal massages.
Or if you’re like me, get post-delivery massages.
The aches I had after breastfeeding and always bending over to pick up several pounds (my baby) over and over were intense. Postpartum massages felt so good.
Wear good shoes. OMG. Wear good, supportive shoes.
The arches in my feet are wrecked from the weight gain that put pressure on my feet. And if you develop pain in your feet, it dampens so many simple joys, like walking. The answer to my feet pain was Birkenstock.
Buy worthwhile maternity clothes.
I didn’t realize until my second pregnancy that you can get maternity clothes that are great post delivery because they serve several purposes.
I just thought there were clothes you wear when you are pregnant, and then there are different clothes you wear for nursing/breastfeeding.
But there are clothes that do both, like this dress! Wear it pregnant, wear it nursing, wear it out and about or even as a nightgown!
Here’s another one that’s just as versatile!
9. Sleep and be well rested
Listen to your body and sleep when you are tired.
Carrying a baby is equivalent to running a 40-week marathon.You sitting pregnant on the couch is more work and energy than your hubby going to the gym.
Growing a baby is exhausting!
You need the rest.
10. Prepare for the hospital
Tour the hospital ahead of time so you know where to park and which entrance is to the maternity floor.
Pack non-perishable food in your hospital bag. After 17 hours of labor, I was starving but the hospital kitchen was closed because it was late at night. I really wished I had packed something to eat because the crustable the nurse gave me was not substantial.
Know that you do not have to pay your hospital bill before you are discharged. It can be mailed to you to pay at a later time.
I felt like the hospital tried to take advantage of my post labor exhaustion and really pushed we pay right then and there.
So we payed in full.
Later, we received a statement in the mail that did not match what we payed.
Long story short, the hospital over charged us and it was a mess to get reimbursed for the discrepancy.
Be your own advocate. Doctors and nurses are amazing and wonderful, but you know your body best. Speak up and trust your gut.
Establish a birth plan. Talk to your doctor for guidance on this and share it with whoever will be with you in the delivery room so they can speak on your behalf if you are too tired etc.
Have a breathing exercise determined ahead of time to help you handle the contractions. Share this with whoever will be in the delivery room with you.
The one I had my husband do with me was, “Breathe in one, two, three, four. Out two, three, four.” It was comforting to know my husband knew what I wanted him to do with me before it was go-time.
11. Read parenting books
Did you know that the most important years of a child’s development are birth to age three?
What we do during those first few years really matter!
The Top 10 Best Books for New Parents can help give you some guidance.
12. Prep the nursery early
Aim to have the nursery done before your third trimester begins.
If your baby comes early, you will be so glad you did this.
And if your baby does not come early, you will still be so glad you did this because the third trimester is often the most uncomfortable trimester with your baby running out of space in your body. Organizing a room at this stage is not the easiest.
Are you working on your baby registry?
If so, I have a printable minimalist baby registry checklist you can use as a guide, along with 12 Baby Essentials for the First 3 Months – You’ll LOVE #3.
13. Know that everything is gradual
In the midst of my worries of wanting to do things right and not mess up, a friend told me that everything is gradual. “Each stage happens slowly, and you will be ready.”
Now that I am on the other side, I see what she means.
I hope these suggestions help you further enjoy these next nine months!
You are going to be an amazing mama! Congratulations to you and your beautiful baby on the way!
How many months pregnant are you? Let me know in the comments section below.